Article

Heterologous immunity: immunopathology, autoimmunity and protection during viral infections.

Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.
Autoimmunity (Impact Factor: 2.75). 06/2011; 44(4):328-47. DOI: 10.3109/08916934.2011.523277
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Heterologous immunity is a common phenomenon present in all infections. Most of the time it is beneficial, mediating protective immunity, but in some individuals that have the wrong crossreactive response it leads to a cascade of events that result in severe immunopathology. Infections have been associated with autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosis, but also with unusual autoimmune like pathologies where the immune system appears dysregulated, such as, sarcoidosis, colitis, panniculitis, bronchiolitis obliterans, infectious mononucleosis and even chronic fatigue syndrome. Here we review the evidence that to better understand these autoreactive pathologies it requires an evaluation of how T cells are regulated and evolve during sequential infections with different pathogens under the influence of heterologous immunity.

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